• May 1, 2009
Lotus Elise - Click above for a high-res image gallery

Rumors have been circulating for almost a week that Lotus was planning to release a stripped-down, low-cost version of the Elise in the States. Today, we finally received confirmation from Lotus' U.S. PR-man, Kevin Smith, that indeed, the Elise "Purist" edition is on the way, and unlike the dozens of other limited-edition Elises coming out of Hethel, this is one we can actually get behind.

According to Smith, the "Purist" edition is an attempt to get the Elise closer to the MSRP it carried when introduced to the U.S. market in 2005. So Lotus has set the price at a slightly more achievable $43,995, or around $3,500 less than a base Elise.

However, the "Purist" is hardly a stripper model. Only available in Ardent Red, Monaco White and Saffron Yellow, the entry-level Lotus is still packing the 190-hp, Toyota-source 2ZZ 1.8-liter four and six-speed manual transmission, along with Bilstein dampers, Eibach springs, AP-developed calipers with ventilated and cross-drilled discs, silver wheels sized 16x5.5 in front and 17x7.5 in the rear, each shod in Yokohama Neova high-performance rubber (175/55 front, 225/45 rear). Black leather seats join a Momo steering wheel, power doors locks, air-conditioning, a four-speaker stereo with in-dash CD player, tire-pressure monitoring system and an alarm with engine immobilizer. The only option available is the Starshield coating for $995. Neither the Sport or Touring pack will be offered and we're okay with that – it's near perfection already.



[Source: Lotus, LotusEnthusiast]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have an S2000 CR. No a/c. No radio. Cloth seats. No softtop. THAT, is a purist edition. They really should make a bare bones Elise. I know it would be for a very niche market, but there are quite a few track/autox guys that have (or want) the car and it will never see a public road (trailering to a race site means you don't need those luxuries.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Do "purists" really buy/drive Hondas? Just having a hard time picturing the "Honda purist".

        Forgive me ~ I must wipe the coffee I laughed through my nose off my monitor now...
        • 5 Years Ago
        good call on the 2eleven. Love it.

        What I meant in my original comment was if Lotus is going to make a stripped down elise. Then it should come with everything you need and nothing you don't. The CR is probably as stripped down as you can make an S2000 without getting ridiculous. This purist edition could stand to get a little closer to being ridiculous.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Howabout a 2-eleven with a windscreen and streetable lights/airbags? No doors would be the uber-purist way to go...
      • 5 Years Ago
      A 190 hp toyota engine has never been and will never be "near super car performance". It's a track car, but once in any kind of long strait, it will get eaten alive.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How can you be a lotus purist if you don't buy it in radiactive green or traffic cone orange?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't think they could get rid of those things Ac and such. It's like part of the American thinking. Who would spend that money on a car that does not have those luxuries? Well, I would. But only a small percentage of buyers for this car I bet are real purists. The name is just a marketing ploy. Still, I would definitely buy one. It has decent gas mileage too. I would go for a second hand one in a flash morely. But 43 K? Not too shabby.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Most anyone that buys any Elise is a sports car purist.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i agree this is no purist edition. If you are going to get into the spirit of "lightness" with Lotus, all you should really have is a good looking seat and steering wheel, with three pedals on the floor.

      AC, radio, power this/that, blah blah... that's not purist. The only way anyone can really own one of these cars is to be a track rat, or have multiple cars and relegate this one to a "nice day cruise" when AC isnt necessary.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Marketing scheme to get people from buying these things used.

      Lotus makes a great car, don't get me wrong however this has been out long enough that you can a used one relatively cheap with all the trimmings. It needs a refresh of some sort
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love Lotus, and this Lotus is the definition of Lotus: low cost/performance through light weight. Near supercar performance for less than half the price of most competition? Count me in! (Not like I listen to the radio anyway.)
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ higB.0x02

        clearly haven't driven one of these.. even the base model will do 0-60 in under 5 seconds, (under 14 seconds to 100) it also carves up the slalom faster than a lot of the traditional 'supercars'.

        it's no Gallardo LP560, but for the price you could buy one of each color, gas for a year, remodel your garage, have a blast driving it.. and half the idiots you pull up next to would ask you what kind of Ferrari that was.

        (oh and it get well over 20 MPG too)
        • 5 Years Ago
        It may not be a powerful engine, but the car weighs 1,900 lbs. Compare this to 2,900 for a Porsche 911 or 3,100 lbs for a Corvette. And to top them all off is the Nissan GT-R at 3,900 lbs. Yes, Godzilla weighs OVER TWICE as much as a Lotus Elise. I think 190hp is plenty to achieve "near supercar" performance.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Near supercar performance? Come on now. That motor is anemic.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't think most people realize what an ass kicking it is to live with a Lotus. A few weeks and you realize that AC is necessary. Especially when it gets humid and you can't see out the friggin windows without it on.
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